International Buyers

Can I buy property in Barbados as a foreigner? 

The simple answer is yes.  There are no restrictions to buying real estate in Barbados by persons who are not citizens or permanent residents.  In fact, the Government of Barbados is very welcoming to overseas investors, and foreign buyers are afforded the same rights and privileges as Barbadian Citizens.  However, non-residents are required to do the following when buying property:
  • Ensure all funds for the purchase of the real estate are derived from external sources
  • Register all foreign currency brought into the country with the Central Bank of Barbados
  • Obtain permission from the Central Bank to purchase the property. This is usually readily obtainable once the purchase funds have been registered.
 It should also be noted that there is no Capital Gains Tax in Barbados, so investors are not charged for the appreciation in the value of their property.

Who Can Own Property?

Real property can be owned by individuals over the age of majority, a company or a trust. Minors cannot own property except through their legal guardian who must be at least 18 years old.
You can also purchase property in Barbados through an offshore company structure which can be financially beneficial for high-value properties (over US$1 Million).

The Buying Process

Buying property in Barbados is a relatively simple process. Still, we highly recommend that you work with a qualified and experienced local real estate agent who can help you navigate the ……. seamlessly.  The process
  • Engage the services of a qualified and experienced real estate agent.
  • Start your property search with the guidance of your real estate agent. Our website offers an extensive selection of property for sale in Barbados including villas, houses, townhouses, apartments, condos and land.
  • Choose the property you like and make an offer to buy it.
  • Once the offer is made in writing and accepted by the seller, engage the services of a local attorney to perform a title search.
  • The attorney of the seller will prepare the sale contract to be signed by both parties.
  • To secure the purchase of the property, a 10% deposit is required for payment when signing the purchase agreement to be held in escrow by the attorney of the seller until such time that the sale contract is completed.
  • The remaining 90% as a balance of the purchase price must be paid within a period of 3 to 6 months upon transfer of the title of the property.

Purchase Expenses

  • There are no property transfer fees.
  • Attorney's fees are approximately 1.5% to 2% of the sale price and are subject to 17.5% VAT. Both buyer and seller are responsible for their own attorney fees.
  • Proportionate part of land tax.  This amount will vary depending on the value of the property and time of the transaction.


US Dollar mortgages are readily available to non-nationals and non-residents, from the offshore sector of the local banking industry.  Institutions that offer US dollar mortgages are The Royal Bank of Canada, Scotia Bank, and CIBC First Caribbean International Bank.  Here are a few guidelines:

  • LTV (loan to value) ratio ranges between 60 and 70%
  • LTV 50% in excess of US$2.5M
  • Minimum loan value of approx. US$250,000.
  • Amortization terms range from 5 to 25 years
  • Interest rates are pegged against international LIBOR rate.
  • Bank’s attorney fees are approx. 1%-2% plus 17.5% VAT.

Annual Ownership Costs

Land Tax

Unimproved land under 4,000 sq. ft. is taxed at 0.8% of the site value.

Unimproved land over 4,000 sq. ft. is taxed at 1% of the site value.

Residential Land Tax is taxed on the improved value at the following rates:

- 0% on the first US$75,000
- 0.1% on the excess greater than US$75,000 but not exceeding US$225,000
- 0.7% on the excess greater than US$225,000 but not exceeding US$425,000.
- 1% on the excess greater than US$425,000.
- A tax cap of US$50,000 has been placed on residential properties.

Pensioners occupying their own residences shall pay land tax calculated and payable on only 40% of the tax demanded.

Land used exclusively for agricultural purposes may be granted a rebate of 50% of the land tax paid; some conditions apply.


Property Insurance

Insurance is another main operating cost and ranges from 0.4% for residences, between 0.6% and 0.8% for commercial buildings and 0.9% for hotels.  In all cases, the costs would depend on the characteristics of the building and the site. Other major costs would include metered utilities and any common assessments applicable to master-planned communities.
As an affiliate of CGM Gallagher, one of the largest and oldest insurance brokers in the Eastern Caribbean, Altman Real Estate is able to offer our clients the most competitive rates for property, content, vehicle and other related insurance.  To find out more about this service, Contact Us today.

Special Entry and Reside Permit (SERP)

As a property owner, you may qualify for the Barbados Special Entry and Reside Permit (SERP).

The Barbados Special Entry Permit enables a qualified non-national as well as their spouse and children to obtain residency status in Barbados.  This makes it easier for non-nationals to live, work and retire in Barbados or to visit the island often and stay for extended periods of time.

Who Is Eligible?

High Net Worth Individuals who have assets of not less than US$5M.  There must also own substantial investment in Barbados of a value of at least US$2M, purchased with funds sourced outside of Barbados.

Permit & Fees
- Indefinite Permit (applicants 60 years and over) 
- 10-Year renewable Permit (applicants between 50 and 60 years)
- 5-year renewable permit (applicants under 50 years)
Fees range from US$3,500.00 to US$5,000.00.
Applicants’ spouses obtain the same status for the same period as the applicants. Applicants’ minor children are granted student visa status until they reach 18.


Retired Property Owners- all retired persons who own property in Barbados can qualify for a SERP.

Permit & Fees
- Indefinite Permit (retired property owners 6o years and over)
- Renewable Permit (retired property owners under 60 years ).  At age 60 the SERP can be renewed as an indefinite permit.
SERP holders who wish to engage in employment in Barbados must apply for a work permit at the cost of US$1500.00 per annum.
Access to citizenship requires residence for five of the seven years prior to application.
Spouses & Dependents

Applicants’ spouses obtain the same status for the same period as the applicants.

Applicants’ minor children are granted student visa status until they reach age 18, at which point their status changes to the same as the applicant if they are attending university or college and are entirely dependent on the applicant.  At the point of becoming independent adults, they are required to apply for their own SERP if they intend to continue to live or work in Barbados.

Work Permits

SERP holders who wish to engage in employment in Barbados must apply for a work permit which starts at a cost of US$1500.00 per annum.

Should you be interested in applying for a Special Entry and Reside Permit (SERP), our experienced team at Altman Real Estate are delighted to assist you with your application to ensure a smooth transition to our beautiful island. Contact Us Today.


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